by Nigel Price
The two oldest and the three youngest competitors at the 2014 Sunburst Nationals. From left : Colin Dalziel (77yrs), Jack Beavis (6 yrs), Cameron Brown (just turned 7), Flinn Olson (a few days short of his 6th birthday), Maurice Scott ( 75 yrs). - 2014 Sunburst Nationals
A very unusual aspect of the Sunburst Class is the age range of competitors.
With the class having started out mainly as a Parent and Child yacht, you would expect plenty of young kids as crews sailing with their parents. However, we also have a number of middle aged and veteran crews sailing Sunbursts.
The age range: Taking the age of the oldest competitor at the just completed 2014 Sunburst Nationals Regatta and taking away the age of the youngest competitor gives a range of 71 years !
It would be interesting to know if any other centreboard yachting class in New Zealand can match this.
The oldest combined crew age was 148 years – Wal Louden & Colin Dalziel of Muritai Yacht Club sailing #1629 'Steamboat' ( and 20th overall ), and the youngest combined crew age was 24 years – Sam Bacon & Ben Prentice of Worser Bay Boating Club sailing #1788 'Tupelo Honey' ( sixth overall ).
Brett & Penny Linton, sailing #1530 "Rhythm & Swing" and Jake & Ben Hawker sailing #1322 "Embers" in the invitation race that Brett eventually won. The race area is to the Southwest of the shipping channel between NarrowNeck Beach and Rangitoto Island. - 2014 Sunburst Nationals
The three youngest competitors were : Flinn Olson, who is just a few days short of his sixth birthday, Jack Beavis, 6 years old, and Cameron Brown, who just turned 7 a few days before the regatta.
The three oldest competitors were : Colin Dalziel ( 77 yrs ), Maurice Scott (75 yrs) and Mike Petricevich ( 75 years). Colin and Maurice are regularly competing crews in both club racing, North Islands and Nationals events.
Both Mike and Maurice are life members of the New Zealand Sunburst Association. Maurice has sailed at 19 out of the 21 Sunburst Nationals held since they were first run in 1994. In the 30 years before then, the class’s North Island & South Island Champs were their main regattas.
The 69 boats sailing at the 2014 Sunburst Nationals, split into two fleets, included 19 Parent and Child crews, 10 Husband & Wife ( or equivalent ) crews, and 9 all female crews.